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Posted - 06/06/2012 :  2:43:14 PM  Show Profile  Visit BeeBopEh's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Jeepers, Zonar products has announced they now have a driver pre-trip tracker available. Any word on how much this black-box unit will cost the bus companies for each vehicle? When added to the talking alarm system that First Student and others were sold on we are talking multiple thousands per bus. But wait a minute how is this nice and dandy equipment to be paid for? Oh heck, just scoop a large portion of the necessary funds by lowering the drivers' wage package again. That will surely lead to a better group of professional bus operators. Due to serious competitive bid practices and lawyers' tendencies to promote this spying we can only expect more of the same. I am truly ashamed of the bus companies reactions when salespeople stop-by offering these products. Guys, they are all fraught with pitfalls and endless tweaking to provide results that may be tainted data. Why not hire good people for decent wages and see what happens then? Do any other fellow drivers have comments or agree?


4329 Posts

Posted - 06/07/2012 :  1:44:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This isn't a new thing, Zonar has had it available for several years now.

I'd say it's a liability thing, maybe fed by the lawyers. Proper pretrip can, will and does prevent severe equipment damage, lost time and most importantly, injuries/fatalities.

Leaving the latter alone, let's just look at the first...severe equipment damage. New engines are going to cost anywhere from 13-19K to replace due to complexity. If a driver isn't checking oil, coolant, etc, the potential for severe engine damage skyrockets (and warranty doen't cover stupid). Save one engine, pay for 5-7 of these systems. It's just business.
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Top Member

1609 Posts

Posted - 06/07/2012 :  5:22:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit bus724's Homepage  Send bus724 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
First Student doesn't let drivers check their own fluids as part of the pre-trip (in most locations, at least). They just have a "lot person" do it. As a former First Student "lot person," I can tell you that there's no enforcement of this, they're pretty much on their honor to check properly every week.

First Student: "Don't think, just do it our way or you're fired."
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Mr. Dave
Senior Member

United States
120 Posts

Posted - 06/22/2012 :  05:46:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I remember we had a bus pretrip checking all lights and reflectors, all fluids, air pressure in all six tires, all lugnuts on all wheels, leaks in bus exhast system, and the staightness and balance of the driveshaft. We also had five minutes from clock in to get the bus off the lot. Management could not figure out why most drivers just fired up the engion and left.

Shiny side up

Greasy side down

Edited by - Mr. Dave on 06/22/2012 05:47:35 AM
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Active Member

19 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2012 :  12:34:53 PM  Show Profile  Visit imadriver2's Homepage  Reply with Quote
5 minutes to properly pre-trip your bus and drive it off the lot? Ridiculous!
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Senior Member

53 Posts

Posted - 09/16/2012 :  6:19:18 PM  Show Profile  Visit FrankP's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Got to agree with BeeBopEh on this one! These inane devices are your company's/school district's way of saying, "We don't trust you to do your job properly." These devices aren't perfect,(try to defend yourself against a computer printout when you KNOW the printout is wrong!) and more often than not, all these nifty toys screw up a buses electrical system. How many of these hyper-equipped buses suffer dead batteries in the winter? Proper pre-trip is PART OF THE JOB!!!

Edited by - FrankP on 09/24/2012 7:52:48 PM
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Senior Member

72 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2012 :  1:59:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Pre-trip is not only a good idea, but in most cases, its the law. I know in Oklahoma, pre-trip inspections are part of your written and driving test. I do think that many districts need to have a backup plan for instances when drivers either don't have knowledge of all the systems on their bus, simply neglect, or make a mistake on their pre-trip inspections. As a director, I would prefer my mechanics make regular inspections on fluid levels, tire conditions, and other mechanical systems. Directors need to be clear to their drivers of what is expected in their pre-trip inspections as well as reminding drivers to notify the director and/or mechanics know of any concerns they have/see/feel with their bus. I've been in districts that had drivers do all the inspecting and fueling of buses, and I've been in districts where drivers didn't check or fill any fluids. They certainly weren't forbidden to check them though!
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